COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior Breana Jones registered a career-high 15 kills Sunday afternoon but the University of Arkansas volleyball team lost in four sets at South Carolina. Junior Pilar Victoria led all players with 19 kills while freshman Okiana Valle tallied a match-high 17 digs. With Sunday’s result, the Razorbacks are now 13-7 overall with a 3-5 mark in SEC play.
Sunday’s contest marked the end of a stretch that featured nine of 11 matches on the road, including six of eight against SEC opponents. Arkansas’ next home match is Friday, Oct. 30, against Auburn. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. The conference matchup will be streamed live on SEC Network+ and be available through the WatchESPN app.
South Carolina 3, Arkansas 1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 28-26)
Attendance: 836 | Time: 2:16
Carolina Volleyball Center | Columbia, S.C.
• Leaders at South Carolina
o Kills: Pilar Victoria – 19
o Digs: Okiana Valle – 17
o Blocks: Chanell Clark-Bibbs – 5.0 (0-5)
With her performance against the Gamecocks, Jones surpassed her previous career best of 13 kills which she established during her freshman season (2013) against Tennessee. She also posted a season-high .538 hitting percentage (15-1-26) in the process. To go along with her 19 kills, Victoria add 13 digs to complete her team-leading 10th double-double of the year. Clark-Bibbs and Danielle Harbin added eight and seven kills, respectively.
Defensively, the Razorbacks carded 10.0 total team blocks against South Carolina for their eighth match of the season with double digits in blocks. Senior Monica Bollinger joined Valle and Victoria in double digits with 10 digs to increase her career total to 920. She is now just 13 digs behind former teammate Raymariely Santos (2010-13) for 12th place on the program’s all-time digs list.
In the back-and-forth opening set, neither team led by more than two points and South Carolina (9-13, 2-7 SEC) led 15-14 at the media timeout. The Razorbacks used consecutive kills from Jones and Barbara Dapic to go ahead on the scoreboard for the final lead change of the set. An ace by Chanell Clark-Bibbs pushed Arkansas’ lead to 20-18. The home team pulled even at 22-all but the Razorbacks won three of the final four points to secure the opening frame on an SC attack error.
Arkansas trailed by as many as four points early in the second, but after a timeout by head coach Robert Pulliza, the team put together an 11-4 run to take a 19-16 lead after a kill by Victoria. The Razorbacks’ run was highlighted by three kills and a block from Clark Bibbs. However, South Carolina scored the next four points to regain the lead, eventually arriving to set point at 24-21. Arkansas saved the first two but couldn’t complete the rally and the match was tied at 1-1.
The Gamecocks used a quick start in the third and led by as many as nine before Arkansas pulled to within four point down the stretch. But South Carolina held on to the advantage to win the set and take a 2-1 match lead. Victoria had nine of her 19 kills in the third set.
Like the opening frame, the fourth set was tight early and the Gamecocks took a 15-13 at the media timeout. Out of the break, the Razorback won eight of the next 10 points to take a 21-17 lead, capping the run with a solo stuff by junior Adrien Wohlschlaeger. Arkansas maintained the advantage to collect three set points at 24-21 but the home team scored three in a row to pull even. The Razorbacks saved one match point with a kill by Clark-Bibbs but on its second opportunity, South Carolina went off the Arkansas block to seal the match.
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